Each week, we will be posting about pertinent articles on educational and school-related topics, how they relate to Engaging Minds students (and parents!), and how to apply this information to your child(ren). We will also be posting original content pertaining specifically to the Engaging Minds approach and philosophy with tips on how to improve and enhance your child(ren)’s learning experience.
Our hope for this blog is to make it a valuable resource for parents. To that end, if you read any interesting articles or have any suggestions for topics, please feel free to email Dan Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please comment on posts in the section below with your own input, ideas, and experiences. While we can’t promise we will be able to use all of your suggestions, we would very much appreciate your contributions and thoughtfulness!
In light of the recent marathon, we are all feeling Boston Strong. Watching the runners and celebrating their achievements has become a cornerstone of Boston’s culture, and, in many ways, has shown us how to overcome challenge together as a city. At Engaging Minds, the marathon has got us thinking: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to inject a bit of the marathoners’ grit and strength into our students’ educations? We’d love for our students to know that perseverance, training, and commitment can take them a long way, maybe even farther than 26.2 miles.
Spring is finally here, and with it comes beautiful weather, school dances, graduations, April vacations, and endless other (incredibly fun) distractions for students. So, as the weather gets warm, and spring fever officially hits, it’s especially important for parents and educators to double their efforts in helping children stay focused, maintain their motivation, use their executive function skills, and succeed through the end of the year. Students, too, need to try a little harder to keep their eyes on their books, especially when the great outdoors and summer months are calling.
Your family is packing for a tropical vacation. Your children are in the other room, excitedly filling their suitcases with assorted items: swim goggles, a sweatshirt, frisbees, a bathing suit, and a pair of pants. “Done!” one of them shouts, and rushes around the corner into your room. He drags his small, zipped-up suitcase behind him. “What did you bring?” you ask him, and he recounts an odd list of garments and toys. “Did you remember any T-shirts? What about your toothpaste? Don’t forget your sneakers!” You send him back to his bedroom to find and add the missing clothing, toiletries, and more.
Everyone has heard that maintaining a positive outlook will improve long-term outcomes. Positivity increases success rates, improves physical and mental well-being, and contributes to growth in work ethic, social support, cognitive flexibility, and more. This series of causes and effects, also known as the “self-fulfilling prophecy,” is well-supported and has been proven across a number of studies and circumstances.
Every year, when testing season arrives, students’ nerves reach an all-time high. For many reasons, standardized testing is scary, physically exhausting, and mentally strenuous for even the most resilient students, especially on top of their regular schoolwork. Depending on the student, their teachers, and the circumstances of the testing itself, students may face any number of factors working against them. Diane Ravitch, a blogger on all things education, has said, “Sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine on standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds.” Standardized testing may not showcase the wonderful thinker who isn’t the best test-taker. Standardized testing may also prove challenging for students with executive functioning difficulties, with increased anxiety, or students who are simply having a bad day.